Only the name remains.
“Please keep putting a fire under Bashir,” Amira asked from us and all Americans. She said that Bashir needs pressure, so that he will allow peace to come to Darfur. Amira wants to go back home with her husband and six children. She does not understand why her own government and the Janjaweed have destroyed her village and forced them to leave. All Amira knows is that her village “exists only in name,” Cornoye.
All of the people from Amira’s village, the ones that were not killed during the attack, are now living in displacement camps, most of them as refugees in Chad. They are scattered in different camps, and many family members are attempting to reunite.
Amira’s beautiful daughter, Hadja, stood next to her mother and listened intently to the story of the destruction of her village. I wonder what a child feels and thinks, knowing that someone or something powerful hates her and her people so much—wants them dead or gone—and only because of who they are. I’ve tried to ask, without trying to push or be overly intrusive, but we usually hear that they do not understand, and they many times ask us for that answer.
When peace comes to Darfur, will that name without village go back to being a peaceful home for Amira, Hadja, and all their family and neighbors? This can only happen, if we keep “putting a fire under Bashir.”